LOS ANGELES -- Kris Bryant made yet another addition to his MVP case as he hit home runs in the eighth and 10th innings to power a 6-4, comeback win for the Cubs over the Dodgers on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
To force extra innings, Jason Heyward tied the game against Kenley Jansen when he doubled to lead off the ninth, then advanced on a Jorge Soler strikeout and scored on Jansen's first wild pitch of the season.
"That's huge -- that gets the whole thing started," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Heyward's double and heads-up baserunning. "That's him -- he's a winner. The guy's a winner, he plays to win."
Carlos Ruiz was making his Dodgers debut behind the plate, and it was his first time catching Jansen. Ruiz made no excuses after the game, saying that he wasn't used to Jansen's velocity and late movement.
"The first one on the strikeout, that's a tough block for anyone," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It got him to third base and the other one, I think it was just a misfire with the cutter. Obviously, the lack of familiarity, but I think Kenley's tough for anyone to catch. It happens. It was a tough loss. It was a game that we wanted to win."
It was a frustrating night at the plate for the Dodgers, who finished 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base. Starting pitchers Bud Norris and Mike Montgomery each lasted just five innings, with the Dodgers up 3-2 as both teams went to their bullpens. Adrian Gonzalez and Bryant added offsetting solo homers before Heyward tied the game. Bryant broke the tie with his 35th home run before Aroldis Chapman closed it out.
With the loss, the Dodgers fell to just one game ahead of the Giants due to a 7-0 San Francisco win over the Braves.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Down and out: With the tying run on third and Norris laboring at 88 pitches in the fifth inning, Utley defied Father Time again to preserve the Dodgers' one-run lead. Shifted into the gap between first and second, Utley made a diving grab about 20 feet from the right-field foul line and managed a throw to first while lying on his back to end the inning. The play was so good, Utley even flashed a rare smile after.
Start me up: Making his second start for the Cubs in place of injured John Lackey, Montgomery had to battle. The leadoff man reached in the first four innings, and the Dodgers took advantage of Montgomery's control issues in the second when he walked Kiké Hernandez, hit Ruiz with a pitch, and one out later, watched as Hernandez scored on a groundout. The lefty threw a season-high 91 pitches over five innings. Montgomery, who will go to the bullpen when Lackey returns, did show his baserunning abilities in the fifth when he scored from second on Anthony Rizzo's single.
"I thought Montgomery fought through well," Maddon said. "His command was off a little bit, and he bent a little but did not break."
Reddick frustrated: Twenty five days after his acquisition at the Trade Deadline, Josh Reddick still does not have an RBI as a Dodger. He squandered a pair of prime opportunities to change that, striking out in the third inning with the bases loaded, then getting punched out again with a runner on second in the fifth.
Following the second strikeout, Reddick destroyed a bat in the dugout in frustration. He singled in the seventh inning, but then got picked off to seal another rough night for the outfielder.
Ka-boom: Bryant continued his hot streak with a leadoff homer in the Cubs' eighth to move into a tie with the Rockies' Nolan Arenado for the National League lead, and then moved past him with his game-winner in the 10th. In the eighth, Bryant launched a 2-1 pitch from Joe Blanton a projected 416 feet to straightaway center, according to Statcast™. His 35 homers are the most by a Cubs player since Derrek Lee hit 35 in 2009. He also scored on Addison Russell's single in the first, and now has scored 107 runs, tops in the Majors. So far on the West Coast trip, Bryant is 12-for-30 with five home runs and 11 RBIs. More >
Cubs fans in the crowd of 48,609 chanted "M-V-P" after Bryant's second homer.
"It's pretty cool," Bryant said. "Growing up, you hear that on TV and to hear it now, it's humbling and keeps me going, and keeps me determined to do more. It's pretty cool to hear."
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs:Jason Hammel will try to get back on track Saturday after a rough outing against the Rockies when he gave up six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings. Despite the results, Hammel is 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts this month. First pitch will be 3:05 p.m. CT.
Dodgers: Since allowing five earned runs to the Cubs in the second start of his career, Julio Urias holds a 3.10 ERA in 11 appearances, nine of them starts. He'll get another chance to show how far he's come as a 20-year-old in a 1:05 p.m. PT start.